“TWILIGHT!!” Pinkie Pie’s yell echoed throughout Twilight’s library. “Are you ready for Nightmare Night?!”
Twilight rolled her eyes as she struggled to get into her costume. It was just like Pinkie to be ready an hour early. “Almost, Pinkie Pie! Just let me finish getting *grunt* into my costume!” she called.
She heard a massive gasp resonate from her friend. “What are you going as this year, Twilight!?” she cried. “Ooh, wait! Lemme guess! Umm... Hrmm... I know! Twilight, are you going as a unicorn? Because that would be amazing!”
Twilight stopped in confusion, but only for a moment. It was Pinkie Pie, after all. “No, Pinkie. I already am a unicorn. Why would I dress as one for Nightmare Night?”
“Spike went as a dragon last year,” replied Pinkie.
“But Pinkie, dragons aren’t exactly a common sight in Ponyville,” sighed Twilight. “At least, not until he came here with me. He could get away with it.”
“Okay, okay, lemme guess again!” said Pinkie excitedly. “Hmm... I’ve got it! You’re going as that pony who moved here a few years ago! What was her name... Twilight Sparkle!”
Twilight opened the door to her bedroom so she could talk to Pinkie without yelling, and found herself face-to-face with the exuberant pony. Pinkie Pie was dressed in a strange, shoddy-looking dress made of several cloths of various colors, each of which bore a design reminiscent of somepony’s cutie mark. She thought she saw her own on a piece of lavender cloth. Around Pinkie’s neck was a necklace made of plastic unicorn horns, and she had strapped several pairs of stuffed wings to her back. The overall effect was quite disturbing.
“No, Pinkie, I am not going as myself,” stated Twilight, eyeing Pinkie’s odd choice of costume. “Umm... Might I ask what you’re going as?”
“It’s a costume I read about in a book!” said Pinkie. “Do you like it? I worked all day on it!” She was evidently quite proud of it.
Twilight awkwardly backed away, unable to take her eyes off the monstrosity of a dress. “It’s very... umm... Pinkie, what sort of book was this?”
“Oh, you wouldn’t enjoy it, Twi,” replied Pinkie, not really answering the question. “It was fiction. Plus, it was on the World Wide Web, so it didn’t have that ‘old book’ smell that you love so much.”
Twilight was confused. “The World Wide What?” she asked. “Pinkie, I don’t think spiders have anything to do with books.”
“Never mind that, Twi, we have to get you ready!” exclaimed Pinkie, changing the subject. “What are you going as?”
Twilight had managed to get into her robe before opening the door. She spun around with a flourish to give Pinkie a better look. “I’m going as Starlight the Distinctly Not Bearded,” said Twilight. “She was Starswirl the Bearded’s great niece, and accomplished nearly as much as her great uncle himself!”
Pinkie stared at Twilight for a moment, then smiled brightly. “Okie Dokie Lokie!”
“Just let me grab my hat, and we’ll be ready to go!” said Twilight. Normally, she would have pulled the hat towards her with her magic, but she decided she would get into the spirit of being Starlight the Distinctly Not Bearded. She instead teleported the hat directly onto her head. It landed upside down.
“Twilight, I don’t think that’s how hats are supposed to be worn!” Pinkie laughed.
Twilight gave her a mock scowl as she righted the hat with her magic. “Spike, are you ready to go?” she called downstairs.
“I sure am, Twilight!” he replied from the kitchen, where he was putting the finishing touches on his costume.
Twilight and Pinkie Pie trotted downstairs to gather up their things, and Spike, so they could leave.
“Do you like it, Twilight? Pinkie Pie?” asked Spike, grinning broadly. He was dressed as... a dragon. The same costume from last Nightmare Night, even.
Pinkie Pie’s eyes seemed to shine. “It’s AMAZING!!!” she cried. “Spike, you make the best dragon I’ve ever seen! And I’ve seen some pretty amazing dragons! I’ve also seen some pretty amazing cupcakes! Mmmm, cupcakes!” She pulled two orange-and-purple frosted cupcakes from what seemed to be nothing and handed one to Spike. She kept the other for herself.
“Spike, isn’t that--” Twilight began. She stopped when she saw the look of ecstasy on his face as he bathed in Pinkie’s praise like a warm sunbeam, eating it up. And also eating up the cupcake she had given him. She couldn’t bring herself to say anything. “It’s wonderful, Spike.”
“Let’s go, everypony!” shouted Pinkie Pie, somehow intelligible through a mouthful of cupcake. Twilight guessed it came with practice. “And dragon, of course!”
The trio made their way into the Ponyville Main Square. The streets were artfully decorated for Nightmare Night. Cobwebs adorned the streetlights, and the windows of several buildings became the homes of stationary paper ghosts. The Apple family had been pushing pre-Nightmare Night apple sales with the idea of “Apple-O-Lanterns.” Many homes boasted dozens of the tiny lanterns, each carved with an intricate pattern. She thought she could see a tiny picture of Discord drinking a glass of chocolate milk, but it was difficult to tell.
Interestingly enough, Twilight noticed that the only homes buying into this fad were unicorn homes. Earth ponies and pegasi were probably not cut out for making such small designs. But she did see a few Apple-O-Lanterns bearing crudely shaped faces, or just a circle or square.
Pinkie Pie kept stopping as they walked to tell everypony how amazing their costume was.
“Colgate, I love your vampire outfit! Such shiny teeth!”
“Thanks, Pinkie, I like--”
“Oh, Doctor, that’s a wonderful Giant Vacuum Cleaner costume! I want a giant vacuum cleaner for when I accidentally knock over the flour in Sugar Cube Corner because I’m being too excited!”
“It’s not a giant vacuum cleaner, Pinkie, it’s--”
“You look great as a bottle of Old Granny Smith’s Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Cider, Berry Punch!”
“Urm, yeah, that’s -hic- right. Non-alcoholic...”
Twilight couldn’t help but laugh as Pinkie Pie told Carrot Top that her “orange leek” costume looked delectable, but she wouldn’t eat it because she didn’t like leeks.
As they arrived at the main square, they saw a crowd of costumed ponies waiting in front of a dark, cobweb-encrusted stage. Twilight had to grab Pinkie Pie’s tail with her magic to keep her from bounding through the crowd, complimenting every ninja, cowpony, and muffin she saw.
Spike took off to join the school foals for trick or treating. It looked as though all the little fillies and colts had banded together to become a horde of zombies. They had done a surprisingly good job, too. They stood around a bench that held Lyra, sitting in her usual unnatural position, dressed as one of those awkward-looking “human” things she was always rambling on about. She had even crafted a pair of “hands” for her hooves. A massive smile was planted firmly on her face, while Bon Bon stood to the side in her cat costume, looking incredibly embarrassed to be in the presence of her roommate.
“Hey, Twilight, I think you forgot your beard!” came a voice from above. She looked up to see Rainbow Dash, wearing a Wonderbolt costume, lying on a cloud over her head. Dash had apparently foregone the Spitfire mane that came with the suit, choosing instead to be herself as a member of the Wonderbolts.
“What do you mean, I forgot my beard?” Twilight asked.
“Well, Starswirl the Bearded, you know...”
Twilight was indignant. “I am not Starswirl the Bearded!” she huffed. “I am Starlight the Distinctly Not Bearded! Starswirl’s great niece!”
“Oh,” said Rainbow Dash. “It looked like the same costume as last year.”
“What!?” cried Twilight. “The pattern’s completely different! Starswirl’s robe had stars and the moon! Starlight’s has the two most important constellations: the Dragon, and the Manticore! And it has fewer bells!”
“Twilight,” began Dash. “Are you ever going to dress as somepony recognizable?”
Twilight began to splutter incoherently. Rainbow Dash laughed and flew down beside her. “Calm down, Twi. It can’t be healthy to be making sounds like that.”
“Rainbow Dash, what’ve y’all done to Twilight?” Came Applejack’s Southern accent. “Ah think y’all done broke her!”
“Hi Applejack!” shouted Pinkie Pie. “I like your Straw Man outfit!”
“Pinkie Pie,” said Applejack. “It’s a scarecrow. There’s no such thing as a ‘Straw Man.’ Y’all are startin’ to sound like that Lyra.”
“Actually, Applejack, the term ‘Straw Man’ refers to a logical fallacy in which--” Twilight broke off as her friends stared at her. “...But I guess that’s not important right now.”
Rainbow Dash stared at Applejack’s costume. “Hey, AJ. Didn’t you wear that costume last Nightmare Night, too?”
“Costume?” asked Applejack. “Oh, this? This ain’t a costume, Rainbow Dash. Every Nightmare Night, the crows spend all day tryin’a get at mah apple orchard. So me and Big Macintosh gotta dress up like scarecrows and chase ‘em off the whole day. Ah never have time to change into mah costume, so Ah always end up just wearin’ this. It ain’t meant to be a costume.”
“Oh, I guess that makes sense,” said Rainbow Dash as Pinkie Pie nodded sagely.
“An’ speakin’ of costumes,” Applejack turned to Twilight. “Did y’all lose your beard?”
“No,” stated Twilight flatly. “As I’ve just explained to Rainbow Dash, this is not my Starswirl the Bearded costume. This is Starlight the Distinctly Not Bearded, his great niece. She didn’t have a beard, thank you very much.”
Applejack looked at her other friends. “Is something wrong with Twi?”
Pinkie Pie just laughed. “Of course not, Applejack! She’s probably just a little upset that nopony recognizes her Dumbledore costume! And because she forgot her beard!”
Before Twilight could respond, or even wonder what a “Dumbledore” was, she heard a lofty voice coming from behind.
“Oh, Twilight, darling, that dress is absolutely marvelous!” Rarity cantered up to the group of friends. “Or... perhaps I’ve just lost all sense of true beauty in light of this... thing... that Pinkie’s wearing.” She grimaced. “Where did you find such a horrific dress, dear?”
Pinkie Pie’s smile stretched from ear to ear. “I made it myself! Do you like it?”
“It’s very... nice,” replied Rarity, noticing the glares of Twilight and Applejack, and putting on a poorly-faked smile.
“Thanks!” exclaimed Pinkie Pie. “I like your costume, too! You make a great sun hat!”
“Thank you, Pinkie, but I am not a sun hat,” corrected Rarity. “I am none other than the greatest dress-maker Equestria has ever seen!”
“Uh, Rarity?” began Twilight. “I don’t think Hoity Toity would wear that sun hat.”
“Hoity Toity!?” Rarity sounded almost as indignant as Twilight. “I am not Hoity Toity! I am Rarity! Dress-Maker Extraordinaire!”
“So y’all dressed as yourself?” asked Applejack. “In a sun hat?”
“I’m glad to see you understand, dear,” Rarity smiled.
“Wow, Pinkie,” whispered Twilight. “With Rarity and Rainbow Dash dressed as themselves, Applejack not even in a costume, and Spike as a dragon, maybe I should’ve gone as a unicorn.”
“What does Spike’s absolutely awesome-azing costume have to do with that?” asked Pinkie.
“Just... Oh, never mind,” sighed Twilight.
“Fillies and gentlecolts!” the Mayor’s voice rang out through the night as she stood at the microphone on the stage. “Thank you all for attending this year’s Nightmare Night celebration festivities!”
“I’m ever so glad to see that she decided against wearing that dreadful clown costume this year!” Rarity whispered to Twilight. “I just couldn’t take the poor dear seriously in it last year!”
“I know what you mean, Rarity,” replied Twilight. “That costume was just too--”
“Speaking of costumes, darling, did you forget your beard this year?”
“Don’t forget, my little fillies and colts! Be sure to visit every grown-up for candy!” the Mayor’s speech was drawing to a close. “And so, without further ado, I declare this year’s Nightmare Night festivities to be officially open!” The mayor pulled a horribly familiar rainbow wig from her saddlebags and placed it upon her head. “Let the celebration begin!”
“You know, I just can’t take her seriously in that wig,” stated Rainbow Dash flatly as the crowds dispersed to their respective homes, awaiting the swarm of little zombies (and one dragon) to come calling for candy.
“I remember my first Nightmare Night,” reminisced Rarity, looking up towards the sky. “I didn’t go trick or treating, of course. But I made quite a few bits making costumes for my schoolmates!”
“Rarity, do y’all mean that y’all ain’t never been trick or treatin’?” asked Applejack in surprise.
“Oh, not at all, darling!” replied Rarity. “I’ve gone quite a few times with Sweetie Belle, and I’ve rather taken a shine to it. Showing off my perfectly-crafted costumes to everypony was like a dream come true!” She sighed. “Sadly, though, Sweetie Belle is quite old enough to go on her own now.”
“Well, I’ve never been trick or treating...” said Twilight, looking awkwardly at the ground.
The incredible intake of air from Pinkie Pie rivaled that of a small black hole.
“Never!?” Pinkie exclaimed. “Twilight, we have to take you right now! Nopony should have to live without the joys of free candy!”
“Pinkie Pie, trick or treating is for foals.” Twilight rolled her eyes. “We’re much too old.”
“What are you talking about, Twi?” Pinkie Pie looked genuinely confused. “Too old for free candy? That’s crazy! I went last year, and it was great!”
“I’m game if you are, Pinkie,” said Rainbow Dash, looking rather excited. “It’s been forever since I went trick or treating! I could totally go for some free candy.”
“Ah’d love the chance to relax with a bag fulla candy after all today’s work,” agreed Applejack.
“And I would absolutely adore the opportunity to show my elegant hat to everypony!” Rarity added.
Twilight was still uncertain. “I don’t know, girls. We should really take care of the foals. They’ll expect candy from us, and I don’t want to disappoint them.”
“Well, duh!” Pinkie looked at Twilight as if she were insane. “We’ll go after we give the foals their candy! There’ll be plenty of time!”
She could tell that Twilight was close to breaking. “Pleeease?” begged Pinkie, putting on her best sad face and letting her hair droop.
The combination of Pinkie’s pleading and the downright creepiness of that hair with her costume broke Twilight’s will. “Okay, fine. After the foals come around, we’ll go.”
“Hooray!!” Pinkie Pie hurled herself into the air as streamers and confetti rained down around her. As she fell, she pulled Twilight into a bear hug of astronomical proportions. “Thank you, Twilight! Thank you! Thank you!”
The five made their way back to Twilight’s house to wait for the crowd of foals. It would be easier to stay together than have to meet up later.
“Who wants cupcakes!?” Pinkie Pie stepped into the main room of the library, holding a tray of cupcakes in her mouth. “I made them special!”
Twilight looked at the cupcakes. Each one was beautifully frosted with a delicious-looking replica of one of their cutie marks. They matched Pinkie’s dress perfectly.
“Hey, Pinkie. When did you have time to make these?” asked Rainbow Dash as she ate her cupcake.
“Just now, silly!” answered Pinkie Pie.
“But you were only gone for like, ten seconds...” Dash was confused.
“Yeah! Isn’t it great?”
“Trick or treat!” came a chorus of voices from the front door.
Twilight started towards the door, but Pinkie Pie sped past her and slammed her front hooves on the door. “Who’s there?” she yelled. “Are you Nightmare Moon? Have you come to steal our candy and gobble up our fillies?”
“No, we’re just foals who want some candy!”
Pinkie Pie put on a bemused face. “Sounds like a Nightmare Moon plot! I won’t let you in!”
“Please, miss! We’re not Nightmare Moon, we promise!”
“No! It’s too risky!”
“Pinkie...” began Twilight.
“Open the door, Pinkie!” Spike’s voice was muffled through the door. “You know we’re not Nightmare Moon.”
Pinkie Pie backed away from the door as Twilight pulled it open to reveal a crowd of miniature zombies with bags full of candy, led by Spike.
“Trick or treat!” the foals cried once again.
“Now give us some candy!” added Spike.
“Of course, my little ponies!” said Twilight kindly, pouring candy into each of their bags. As they received their reward, the foals made their way through the library, filling their sacks with sugary gifts from Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack, as well as cupcakes from Pinkie Pie.
“Don’t forget to come back next year!” Twilight yelled from the doorway as the last little zombie filly exited the library. She shut the door and turned, accidentally bumping noses with Pinkie Pie’s entirely-too-close, smiling-fit-to-burst face.
“Are ya ready, Twilight!?” Excitement was flowing off her in nearly tangible waves as she bounced up and down.
“Well, now that the foals have come through, I guess we’re ready to go!” Twilight’s calm demeanor hid her own feelings of excitement.
They stepped out of the library with their saddlebags and began to make their way down the street.
“Wait!!” Pinkie Pie’s earsplitting scream could be heard miles around.
“What is it, Pinkie?” asked Twilight, turning to see a panic-stricken Pinkie looking in all directions at once.
“We forgot Fluttershy!”
“Pinkie Pie, Ah don’t think Fluttershy even likes Nightmare Night,” said Applejack. “Why would she wanna come trick or treatin’ with us?”
“But we can’t go without Fluttershy!” Pinkie Pie was distraught. “We should all be together for Twilight’s first trick or treat!”
“She has a point, AJ,” said Rainbow Dash. “We’re all friends, and Fluttershy shouldn’t have to spend every Nightmare Night cooped up in her little cottage, fearing for her life.”
“I quite agree,” Rarity flipped her flowing mane. “I make half of the costumes for this celebration. How would poor Fluttershy ever see my wonderful work if she’s inside?”
“Well, y’all could just show her,” stated Applejack. “But is that really what’s important here? Y’all know dern well Fluttershy wouldn’t enjoy trick or treatin’.”
“But it can’t hurt to ask, can it?” said Twilight. “I’d like her to be with us, if she can. It just feels right, you know? We should all be together tonight.”
“It’s settled, then!” Pinkie Pie charged out in front of the group. “To Fluttershy!”
“Fluttershy!” called Pinkie Pie. “ Are you home? We want to talk to you!”
“Of course she’s home, Pinkie,” said Twilight. “She never leaves her house on Nightmare Night.”
“Oh yeah!” said Pinkie, remembering with a smile. “Her cottage looks super scary! She did a great job decorating!”
Fluttershy’s cottage looked as though it had been condemned. All the windows were barricaded with enormous planks of sturdy wood that had been nailed into the walls, and a great number of iron bars had been placed across the front door. A white sign with red lettering hung across the bars, reading, “Do Not Enter! I mean, unless you really want to...”
“Ah don’t think she was decoratin’, Pinkie,” observed Applejack, squinting to read the sign in the dark.
A muffled voice sounded from behind the door. “Umm... Go away, please... I don’t have any candy or anything...”
Twilight stepped closer to the door. “Fluttershy, it’s just us. Open the door; we’re not going to attack you.”
“Um... Sorry, Twilight, but no. I opened the door last year, and that didn’t go well at all... I hope I haven’t offended you...”
Pinkie pushed in front of Twilight. “Oh, come on, Fluttershy! Luna’s not even here this time! We just want to go trick or treating with you!”
“T-trick or treating?” asked Fluttershy from within her fortress. “Umm, sorry Pinkie, but I can’t. Please, go away... If you don’t mind, that is...” They heard hoofsteps from inside, signalling Fluttershy’s departure from the door.
“Twilight, dear, perhaps we should go without her,” offered Rarity after a brief silence. “I could always show her my hat in the morning.”
“Rarity, we aren’t here to show Fluttershy your hat,” Twilight said bluntly. “We’re here to take her trick or treating, and we can’t leave until she gets over her fear of Nightmare Night.”
“Well, ah reckon she ain’t comin’ out easy, Twi,” said Applejack.
Rainbow Dash nodded. “AJ’s right, Twi. How are we gonna get her to come out?”
Twilight thought for a moment. “We’ll need some type of plan. Any ideas, girls?”
“Ooh! I have an idea!!” shouted Pinkie Pie, jumping into the air with excitement.
Fluttershy huddled together with Angel under her kitchen table, a wooden baseball bat held tightly in her mouth.
“Don’t worry, Angel Bunny,” she murmured around the bat. “It’ll be morning soon, and then you won’t have to be scared anymore.”
Angel glared at her.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
“Umm... I’m not home...” Fluttershy whispered as loudly as she could.
“Of course you are, silly!” Pinkie’s voice seemed to grate against her eardrums. “We’re throwing a ‘Fluttershy Got Over Her Fear Of Nightmare Night’ Party! You should come out!”
Fluttershy sighed. “I-I can’t come out, Pinkie...”
“But its definitely a real party!” Pinkie assured her. “There’s cake and balloons and punch! I’m totally not lying to make you come out! You can even ask Rarity!”
“What?” Fluttershy heard Rarity’s surprised voice. “What am I supposed to tell her, darling?”
“Just tell her that there’s a real party out here!”
“Oh, but I don’t know what to say!” Rarity sounded flustered.
“Just tell her!” yelled Pinkie.
“Fine! Hmph!” Fluttershy guessed that Rarity had turned her back on Pinkie. “Fluttershy, dear, Pinkie Pie really has thrown together a wonderful party.”
“I’m not coming out, girls,” Fluttershy said. “I’m sorry...”
Pinkie Pie turned back to her friends, a massive table heavily laden with punch bowls, confetti, balloons, cakes, pies, and other colorfully frosted confections standing between them.
“I dunno why that didn’t work,” Pinkie shrugged. “What pony in her right mind can resist a party?”
Rainbow Dash laughed. “Oh, Pinkie Pie! Parties won’t get Fluttershy out of her house on Nightmare Night! She’s a pegasus! And I know exactly what pegasi like!”
She turned to the door and knocked between the bars. “Fluttershy!” she bellowed. “I’ll race you to Pinkie’s party! Last one there’s a rotten pony!”
She took off from where she stood a few feet from the table and came to a halt within a second. Dash took a moment to do a quick victory dance.
“Yeah! I won! Alright!” yelled Rainbow Dash.
“Uh, Dashie?” said Twilight.
“Did you guys see that?” Dash cried excitedly, caught up in the heat of the moment. “I was like, FSHOOOO!!!! and Fluttershy didn’t even leave the house! I totally left her in the dust!”
“Yeah, this’ll go down in Equestria history as one of the all-time best races ever!”
“What do you want, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash was upset at Twilight’s interruption.
“You were supposed to get Fluttershy out of the house, not keep her inside.”
Dash stared at her with a blank expression on her face. It was replaced by embarrassment as she sat down, scratching her mane with a forehoof. “Heh, oh yeah, I guess I was, wasn’t I?”
“Yes, you were,” Twilight sighed. “But it’s alright. Everypony knows that logic is the only cure for fear!” With that, Twilight stepped up to Fluttershy’s barred door and knocked.
“Fluttershy, please come to the door. I need to talk to you,” Twilight said calmly.
They heard footsteps as Fluttershy made her way to the door. “Twilight, I’m not coming out. I wish you all would understand...”
“But I do understand, Fluttershy,” said Twilight reassuringly.
“Of course, Fluttershy! Fear is a natural reaction to a circumstance that your body is unfamiliar with, or to a situation with which it associates a bad response,” Twilight had slipped into full lecture mode. “But Fluttershy, most fears are simply irrational. For instance, some ponies are frightened of deep water, so they avoid it. But it won’t hurt them if they go close. It’s the same situation with you. You know that Nightmare Night won’t hurt you, Fluttershy.”
“Maybe not, Twilight, but I... um... I’m not going to take any chances. I’m sorry...” Fluttershy’s timid hoofsteps told Twilight that the conversation was over.
“I’ll handle this, Twilight, darling,” Rarity declared. As Twilight rejoined the group, she headed towards the cabin and rapped lightly on the door.
A few moments passed before they heard Fluttershy’s voice again.
“Rarity? Oh, no, not you too...”
“Darling, let’s be reasonable. Is there anything, anything I could do to make you open your door?” she asked.
“I already told you, I’m not coming out!” Fluttershy’s voice rose above a whisper for a moment. “I mean, umm... I’m sorry...”
“How about this, dear? Next weekend, I’ll treat you to a day at the nicest spa in Equestria. We can spend the whole day relaxing, talking, exfoliating, and being pampered by only the manliest, yet sensitive, stallions, and you won’t have to pay a bit! Doesn’t that sound lovely?” Rarity’s own mouth began to water at the thought of manly, sensitive stallions massaging her tense, stressed muscles. She swooned a little, but managed to regain her composure as Fluttershy responded.
“But... I really like Lotus and Aloe... They’re always so nice, and I’m sure they’d be disappointed if we didn’t go this week...”
“But the stallions, Fluttershy! Think about the stallions!”
“Umm... I’m sorry Rarity,” apologized Fluttershy. “But I would hate to hurt Lotus and Aloe... Oh, and also, I’m too scared to come out. I hope I didn’t offend you...”
“Oh... No, it’s fine, darling,” sighed Rarity. “Some other time, then. Are you quite sure you thought about the stallions?” A manic edge crept into her voice.
Twilight could almost hear Fluttershy blushing. “Eep! I... umm... yes... I did.”
Rarity hung her head as she walked away from the door dejectedly. The moon had begun to slowly sink towards the horizon, and already the darkness was changing from black to a deep blue. They were running out of time if they were going to go trick or treating this year. Twilight cast a pleading look at Applejack.
“Well, all right, sugarcube. Ah’ll try mah best,” Applejack cleared her throat and stepped forward.
“Fluttershy, ain’t nothin’ out here that’s gonna hurt you. Ah promise.”
“Applejack, I know you’re the Element of Honesty... But, um, that was the worst attempt yet.”
Applejack rejoined her friends. “Ah’m sorry, gals. Ah’ve done all Ah can do.”
Twilight yawned. It was getting late. “That’s okay, Applejack, we’ll... *yawn* we’ll think of something.”
She looked around. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie had already succumbed to the tiredness felt by them all. They looked so peaceful...
“Any other plans, Twilight, darling?” Rarity asked, stifling a yawn. Twilight was beginning to think it really was contagious.
“Nothing yet, but don’t worry girls, I’ll figure something out. I just need a second or two...”
Twilight sat up in a flash. She looked around at her friends, who had also been woken up by Fluttershy’s roosters. Her heart sank as she felt the sunlight on her mane. It was morning. Nightmare Night was over. They were too late.
Everypony turned to see Fluttershy standing in her doorway, wearing her football helmet on her head and her saddlebags on her back. She hoofed at the dirt as she cast a sidelong glance at the ground.
“I’m ready to go trick or treating now.”
Dear Princess Celestia,
Today, I learned that you can’t always make your friends do what you want, especially if they’re scared. Being scared is natural, and you can’t force a pony to get over her fears unless she’s ready. In the meantime...
Twilight smiled as she thought back on the day’s trick or treating, and the abundance of confused looks they received from the ponies they visited. What pony trick or treated in the daylight? She laughed to herself.
In the meantime, you should try to find something that you both enjoy doing. Your friend will feel better, and you will, too. Friends deserve respect and love, not pestering.
Your Faithful Student,